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Project Bubby’s Lodge AKA Blodge

It’s been a bucking wild ride for the ol’ horse barn on the homestead.  

The Blodge was once a lofted (for hay), two-stall horse barn back in the early 1970s. I can remember the giant rat turds on the work tables in the 80's, when I’d brave the musty stench to enter and prepare to combat spider webs everywhere and giant wolf spiders in every corner. Didn’t scare my older (+ 3 years) brother Brandon (Bub) though! For years the barn was turned into my dads work storage office and we’d always go digging through his product boxes and play pretend business. 

When Bub was an early teenager he worked on so many building projects on the homestead, but mainly the barn - he had a vision and was going after his big house freedom. My Dad was always the onsite engineer mentor, so when projects hit a snag, he was called in for master duties and progress would continue. Brandon learned how to build through lots of trial and error and he had an eye for perfection and art (fell in love with Salvador Dali because of him). He turned the barn into a two-story, two bedroom, 1.5 bathroom bachelor pad and continued to expand and improve it for years. He added a downstairs and upstairs fireplace, expanded the kitchen and created the ultimate deep den entertainment space. Added decks, a hot tub, an upstairs outdoor patio and inside bar table. There were days when I’d enter the Blodge and the floors would be sticky with beer and it would just stink like college fun. Being a few years older than me, Bub was always paving the way with things, including hooking me up with the best post prom party a girl could ask for in his deluxe party-house-headquarters after being my photographer for the event. My parents were gone and my brother stepped in like a champ - it was amazing. Just one of the many reasons why his impact on me is so lasting and deep. I could always go to my brother. I looked up to him in many ways. In 2002 Bub suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident that put him in a coma for 3-months and changed his life forever. He was lucky to be alive. It took extreme rehab to get him back to walking and gaining his independence. 

Losing him in 2004 was devastating. He took his life in his room. The Blodge became vacant for many years, like so vacant the poo pipes crusted and cemented in some areas. It was 10 years until I could muster up the courage to take on the project and move into his room. The journey to bringing life back to it had begun. I busted through some crap, literally and figuratively. It was a way to keep him alive for me. I got to get to know Bub better through the journey and learned electrical, plumbing, roofing, carpentry, and just overall general contracting through the whole adventure as I inherited his tools. 

Here’s some journal notes collected along the way:

Journey Through Bub’s Place...

[12/2013] I’ve finally almost completely infiltrated Bub’s place and checked every nook and cranny accounting for everything to incorporate into our overhaul and fix plans. The upstairs non-master wing is almost finished with renovation that included changing up the interior roof line, adding a tub in the bathroom, new tile, new closet, new hallway drywall, and paint. The most fun has been opening up a wall and finding evidence of him being there (matchbox and beer bottle tops) - it’s been pretty amazing to see his craftsmanship up close and I can honestly say I’ve grown closer to him in my time living in his room. 

The Blodge Vision

[12/2014] Bub loved to party. He threw the best parties. It just so happened that some of his high school buddies went to work for beer distributors after they graduated high school, so his place became legendary for me. His love of making a place fun and welcoming is why we’ve decided that his place will be used for events, classes and weddings and we’re pretty excited about that. 

To know that what he created will be creating so many more happy memories for others is what brings my heart joy. 

My big goal was to not let a decade go by after my brothers passing without picking up his projects and loving his things. I’m thrilled to have made it this far with him guiding and leading me in spirit. I’m one office, new bedroom, bathroom down with a list of a half a dozen other projects in clear light at the Blodge (Bubby’s Lodge). We now have a clear path of needs and wants to finish and make this place all it could be. What love it will need and how we can make it even better planning for long-term and maximum fun.

The Blodge has recently had my lil’ sister Courtney’s interior design upgrade and it's a sibling masterpiece to say the least. I couldn’t be more proud of my little sister for jumping on board and taking it to the next level.  I know Brandon’s proud of us for continuing his legacy and vision. His spirit shines bright and his memory lives on through us and his masterpiece, the Blodge.


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